Thursday, January 31, 2019

From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: Hijacking Holocaust Remembrance Day
The same holds true for Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour is a supporter of the anti-Semitic boycott against Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and has publicly defended radical Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. She has stated that support of Israel cannot coincide with feminism. Yet she, too, sent out a Holocaust Remembrance missive — this one curiously missing any mention of the Jews. “May the memories of those who perished inspire us to love and protect one another. May we never forget history so that we may never repeat it,” she tweeted. “May they rest in an eternal peace knowing that we will fight for each other no matter the consequences.”

Again, a message just vague enough with which to virtue-signal — all without ever having to acknowledge the real-life anti-Semitism in which Sarsour herself has engaged.

Her tweet is a convenient way of omitting the actual message of the Holocaust: first, that Jews must never again be dehumanized and murdered for political purposes; second, that anti-Semitism is not merely a subset of bigotry, but its own poisonous brand; and third, that mass murder is possible when purportedly civilized people forget the first two lessons. And yet, thanks to a deliberate campaign to obfuscate those first two lessons, enemies of the Jewish people can hijack Holocaust Remembrance Day to use as a political club.

One time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was asked if the Holocaust could ever happen again. “Morgen in der fruh,” he answered. “Tomorrow morning.”

In a world in which Iran routinely threatens Israel’s Jews with annihilation, in which the Palestinian Authority and Hamas unite to teach their children about the eventual hope of a Judenrein Palestine, in which Jews across Europe live under the possibility of the knife, the Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.
Amnesty: Israel using antisemitism to whitewash its war crimes
Israeli ministers have accused Amnesty International of antisemitism to divert public attention away from the government’s “war crimes” against Palestinians in the West Bank, the group said on Wednesday.

It hit back at the right-wing reaction to its report on Israel’s tourism industry over the pre-1967 lines called “Destination: Occupation,” which it published on Tuesday.

The report called on the four major digital booking sites – Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor – to boycott hotels, rentals and tourism sites over the pre-1967 lines. This includes Jewish sites in Jerusalem’s Old City, with its Western Wall and the Temple Mount, which are the holiest sites in Judaism.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted Tuesday that Amnesty has become a leader in the antisemitic #BDS campaign and that its report was an “outrageous attempt to distort facts, deny Jewish heritage & delegitimize Israel.”

Emotions are particularly on the issue among Israeli politicians in light of the anticipated publication this winter of a blacklist of companies doing business with Israel over the pre-1967 lines, which the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to publish later this month.

Emotions are particularly high on the issue among Israeli politicians, in light of the anticipated publication this winter of a blacklist of companies doing business with Israel over the pre-1967 lines, which the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to publish later this month.

The next day Amnesty said that ministers, such as Erdan, are trying to “silence reports of Israel’s war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

To use the charge of antisemitism in the context of the report is “blatant incitement based on lies, deceptions and distortions that are easy to refute and are intended to divert the discussion from the subject at hand, which is, war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories,” Amnesty stated.
An amnesty for Paliwood
What grounds are there to believe this is the fakest of fake news?

Although not stated explicitly by Amnesty International we are supposed to believe the boy in the photograph is bravely putting his body at risk to stop a home demolition.

Check out the bulldozer driver in the enlarged image. Does he look like an IDF driver? IDF uniform is olive-green. This driver appears to be wearing a shirt with a distinct blue stripe. If he was demolishing a building in Palestinian territory wouldn’t he for his own safety be wearing his helmet?

Check out the bulldozer. It is clearly not an IDF bulldozer. It is completely unarmoured and painted bright yellow not grey or khaki.

So maybe it is a civilian bulldozer? Is the boy in danger or not?

With photography distance relationships can be quite deceptive. Long lenses compress distance. Either way it looks as if he is nowhere near the path of the bulldozer. He has been placed there by the photographer for a good angle. Or did you think it was his idea to find a chair and a flag?

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I've had a bunch of good tweets over the past day....feel free to retweet the ones you like!

First, about Amnesty:

And other topics:

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

One of the favorite lines heard from Israel’s Left is that they want to “separate” from the Palestinians, or, lately, to “divorce” them. This may sound like a good idea, but it is a poor analogy. In the usual divorce, one of the former partners moves away. They don’t try to continue living in the same house.

The separation or divorce that they are talking about is the same old thing: they want Israel to withdraw from most or all of Judea and Samaria, and allow the creation of a Palestinian state. Whatever you call it, the consequences will be the same: the advancement to the next stage of Yasser Arafat’s “Phased Plan” for the destruction of Israel, and a return to what Abba Eban called “Auschwitz borders.”

The plan calls for the establishment of an “independent combatant national authority” that will control any territory “liberated” from the Zionists; then this authority will unify all the “Arab liberation movements” and ultimately coordinate attacks from a “union of confrontation countries” to complete the “liberation of all Palestinian territory.”

The phased plan, from 1974, sounds quaint today. There is no mention of Hamas, Hezbollah, or Iran. Indeed, Iran – ruled by the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi – had good relations with Israel back then. It includes a gesture to Jordan, which still maintained claims on Judea and Samaria at that time. 

But the physical geography of our country and its strategic significance haven’t changed. There is still high ground overlooking our population centers from Judea and Samaria. There is still the Jordan valley, whose western slope guards our eastern border. The players have changed somewhat, and the military threats have become more sophisticated. Although the IDF has improved its capabilities, so have our enemies improved theirs. But the land is still the land. Hills are still hills; passes between them are still strategic.

The “international community,” whose will is expressed by the UN, is stuck in 1974, still wanting to reverse the outcome of the 1967 war. Maybe some of the practical reasons are different – a little less Arab oil blackmail and a little more desire to enter the Iranian market – but its hypocritical concern for the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs still hides its fundamental belief that a sovereign Jewish state should not exist.

It wasn’t always thus. Right after the First World War, the victorious Western powers for a short time were prepared to set aside a portion of the former Ottoman Empire that had already been developed by Zionist immigration, and which just happened to be the historic home of the Jewish people, for settlement by the exiled remnants of those people. This was seen as a win-win situation for everyone involved: the Zionists would get their homeland, the Europeans would (ultimately) get rid of their Jews, and the British – who would hold the Mandate for the sake of the Jews – would get a convenient place to stand to protect the flank of the Suez Canal, and maybe to build a railroad from the port of Haifa to the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, India.

Almost immediately, the British began reneging on their responsibilities toward the Jews, limiting Jewish immigration and encouraging local Arabs in their desire to see the whole Mandate become an Arab state. Maybe they thought an Arab state would be easier to control, or maybe they just liked the Arabs better than the Jews. Later, as the gates of Europe began closing for Jews trying to escape Hitler, their increasingly ferocious efforts to prevent Jewish immigration to Eretz Yisrael became one of the moral low points in the dark history of the period.

The 1948 War of independence and the 1967 Six Days war – a war of aggression intended to destroy the Jewish state – finally established Jewish control of the all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. The 1973 Yom Kippur war proved that even under the worst conditions, the newly expanded state was defensible.

The Arab nations were soundly defeated, but unfortunately the conflict became a proxy for the Cold War between the West and the USSR. Under the tutelage of the Soviet KGB, the Arabs developed a multi-faceted approach including terrorism, Soviet-supported diplomacy, and a sophisticated propaganda effort using revolutionary third-world rhetoric. After the Yom Kippur War, the Saudi-controlled oil weapon was deployed, and as a result the formerly apolitical (but very powerful) international corporate community quietly joined the vociferous Left in its embrace of the “Palestinian cause” (i.e., the replacement of Israel with an Arab state).

Still, after its 1982 defeat in Lebanon, Arafat’s PLO – the ideological heir of the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who collaborated with Hitler – should have faded into obscurity. But then Israel, under the guidance of the same Left that today claims to want a divorce from the Palestinians, fired a nuclear cannon into its own foot – the Oslo Accords.

Suddenly, the Phased Plan came back to life, with the creation – by Israel – of the very “Palestinian National Authority” called for in Arafat’s original plan!

Today Soviet Communism is gone, replaced by the more pragmatic and flexible (but still dangerous) Putinism, the Saudis are moderating their attacks on Israel in the hope that Israel will deal with Iran for them, and the Arab nations are in no condition to wage war. The center of anti-Zionism has moved to Tehran, from where it operates an octopus of terrorist proxies to fight the Jewish state.

But despite all the changes, what should have been settled in 1967 is still questioned today. 

The international community is still pressuring us to reverse the results of the 1967 war. And thanks to the deluded, gulled, pressured, or traitorous architects of Oslo – take your pick – we are on our way to doing that. The vicious PLO is back, ruling the Palestinian Authority. The first phase of Arafat’s plan to finally liquidate the Jewish state is complete.

There are spiritual and historical reasons that Judea and Samaria should be in Jewish hands. But whether or not they are important to you, there are also brute facts of geography: without control of the high ground of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, the state cannot be defended. We must not go back to Auschwitz borders.

I think a divorce from the Palestinians is a good idea. But I have a different property settlement in mind: we keep the house and they move out.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Palestinian Support for Two-State Solution Seen Declining
Among the Palestinians in recent years there has been growing interest in the idea of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is in part linked to the growing connection between Palestinians in the West Bank and the Arab sector in Israel.

It is also related to the collective sense that the Palestinian national movement is currently at an all-time low, with growing alienation between the public and the Palestinian leaderships in the West Bank and Gaza, the lack of public belief in their ability to achieve the goal of independence, and the sidelining of the Palestinian issue from the focus of the regional and international agenda.

Consequently, there is a growing argument in the Palestinian discourse that all other strategies for realizing national objectives have been tried and failed.

Moreover, the growing support for the idea of one state is fed by internal trends. Above all, there is the collective desire to retain a relatively stable standard of living in the West Bank, together with a widespread trend toward de-ideologization and depoliticization, reflecting exhaustion after many years of violent conflict driven by revolutionary fighting slogans, which ultimately failed to achieve any Palestinian national objectives.

The lessons from the severe decline that engulfed Arab societies in the region following the Arab Spring revolutions has led to increased fear of sharing this fate.

In addition, most of the younger Palestinian generation are concerned with personal fulfillment and development, and harbor suspicion and even alienation toward the sources of authority around them, including the Palestinian leadership.

Benjamin Netanyahu and the “Strongmen”: Another Myth in the Making
In the past few months, numerous articles have appeared in the Western press about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s diplomatic outreach to “strongmen” and proponents of “illiberal nationalism.” Some have even accused him of abetting some of these leaders’ alleged anti-Semitism. Lahav Harkov explains how this narrative migrated from left-leaning Israeli publications to the diaspora press and from there to mainstream publications like the New York Times, and notes that it has been used to justify not just criticism of Netanyahu but forthright anti-Zionism. As she observes, such analyses recognize no distinctions among very different sorts of leaders, and pay little attention to diplomatic realities:

There are two elements at play in the claims of a nefarious new direction in Israel’s foreign policy: one is a pearl-clutching disgust at Netanyahu’s supposed embrace of illiberal regimes; the other concerns relations with leaders whose policies specifically impact Jews and . . . distort the memory of the Holocaust. . . . The new talk of Netanyahu and strongmen . . . conflates these two categories, [lumping] the necessary compromises of conducting international relations . . . with troubling assaults on the legacy of the Holocaust [by such figures as Hungary’s Viktor Orban].

Moreover, many analysts who lament Israel’s cozying up to strongmen ignore research showing that East European Jews feel safer from anti-Semitism than do those in the West, which may be because they perceive the greatest threat to their lives coming from Islamist violence rather than the populist right. . . . In general, it appears that East European Jews may not view their situation in the dire terms used by some of their self-appointed advocates in Israel and the West. . . .

It is, [furthermore], no defense of human-rights violators to say that Israel must sometimes hold its nose and keep up ties with [them]. As the Knesset member Avi Dichter—a Likudnik and former Shin Bet chief who could never be accused of being a bleeding heart—said before [the Philippines’ President Rodrigo] Duterte visited: “We may have to take a pill against nausea to receive him.”

But there are some too pure for such distasteful compromises. The leader of [the hard-left] Meretz party, Tamar Zandberg, wrote a letter to Netanyahu telling him not to strengthen relations with Brazil, one of the largest economies in the world, because it elected a president from the far right, months before Jair Bolsonaro even began his term. Yet Zandberg has also been photographed visiting the grave of Yasir Arafat, not a leader known for his exemplary human-rights record. And neither she, nor anyone else on the left, has called on Israel to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas, who wrote his dissertation denying the Holocaust, and whose regime jails people for criticizing him online or, God forbid, selling land to Jews.

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Facebook page of Frankfurt mayor Uwe Becker:

The full text is:

Amnesty International is promoting ethnic cleansing

With their recent campaign Amnesty International is walking in the footprints of the antisemitic BDS movement.
By setting pressure on Online-Booking platforms, that offer overnight stays in settlement regions and in East Jerusalem, Amnesty International is copying the methods and instruments of the antisemitic BDS movement, that proclaims the same aim with an even more militant approach.

The shocking aspect of this present AI campaign is formulated in the conclusion and the recommendations of the AI report.

Amnesty International says:
„Israel must immediately cease all settlement activity, dismantle all settlements and move its civilians from occupied territory into Israel proper. Third states must ensure by all legal means that Israel does so.”

Proposing, that Israel must "move its civilians from occupied territory into Israel proper" is nothing more and nothing less than promoting ethnic cleansing.

To my mind, this is a shocking scandal, that AI demands to push Jews out of all settlement areas and East Jerusalem and other parts of Israel.

AI has crossed a red line and is spreading antisemitism.

Becker is touching on one of the supreme ironies of organizations like Amnesty and the UN.

They invoke the Fourth Geneva Conventions Article 49 paragraph 6, which says "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies," and pretend that this applies to Israel, even though the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria moved there quite voluntarily and were not deported or transferred. The entire intent of the entire Article 49 as a whole is to prohibit transferring people against their will.

Paragraph 1 says, "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive."

The Jews of Judea and Samaria are protected persons under Geneva. If you consider the territories occupied, as the UN and Amnesty does, then the circumstances of how the Jews got there are absolutely irrelevant. In fact, I would guess that more than half the inhabitants now were born there.

The idea that a state should forcibly transfer a half million people against their will, for any reason, is anathema to the Geneva Conventions and international law. Even if you don't say that the territories are occupied, international law says that "The long-standing definition of 'deportation' as a crime against humanity included the crime of forced population transfer within a state's borders."

And, yes, this is antisemitism. I have never seen Amnesty or any other organization even mention the thousands of Israeli Arabs who have moved across the Green Line (in Beit Hanina, Beit SafafaMount Scopus or French Hill, for example) as "settlers." Only Jews get that designation, and only Jews are demanded by "human rights organizations" to be forcibly moved.

This is literal antisemitism, being pushed by Amnesty International.

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  • Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Egyptian media has lots of stories about how Israel's ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, visited the Cairo International Book Fair this week along with an aide.

Egyptians on Facebook expressed their displeasure, some saying that had they known they would have beaten them.

People started to get angry at the head of the book fair for allowing this to happen.

In response, the head of the General Authority for Books, Haytham Al-Haj Ali, made a brief statement asserting that the visit was informal and that the embassy did not inform the management of the exhibition and that they did not hear about the visit until after it was completed.

Govrin visited the exhibition as a normal visitor, buying a ticket and waiting in line like every other visitor - and therefore no one could stop him.

The Cultural Committee of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate condemned the "childish behavior of the ambassador and his attempt to suggest a state of cultural normalization," which they said will not dissuade the Egyptian people from confirming their rejection of all forms of normalization with Israel.

One news site was very upset that the ambassador's aide was wearing a yarmulke. He wasn't, but apparently the lighting of this photo made it appear that he was.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Bloomberg:

What’s an organization designated as a terrorist group in the U.S. and Europe supposed to do when it comes to raising funds? Think cryptocurrency.

A spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, the cash-strapped militant Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip, urged supporters to donate in Bitcoin to get around international restrictions on funding the organization.

“The Zionist enemy fights the Palestinian resistance by trying to cut aid to the resistance by all means, but lovers of resistance around the world fight these Zionist attempts and seek all possible means to aid the resistance,” Abu Obeida wrote Tuesday on his Instagram account. He promised to supply more details later of how supporters could contribute by Bitcoin.

From NYT:
Iran’s economy has been hobbled by banking sanctions that effectively stop foreign companies from doing business in the country. But transactions in Bitcoin, difficult to trace, could allow Iranians to make international payments while bypassing the American restrictions on banks.

In the past, the threat of United States sanctions has been enough to squelch most business with Iran, but the anonymous payments made in Bitcoin could change that. While Washington could still monitor and intimidate major companies, countless small and midsize companies could exploit Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to conduct business under American radar.

I am a skeptic of cryptocurrency as they are set up now, mostly because their value is 100% dependent on people's psychology. If rogue nations and terrorist groups start to depend on Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, I can see how organizations and governments can and will start to manipulate the value of the currencies the way they do with pump-and-dump stocks - with the result being that no one will trust the actual value of this virtual money.

But short term this is a definite threat.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

From Ian:

MLK's Legacy Is about Moral Clarity, Not Easy Analogies
Recently, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the civil rights movement, which King led, and the struggle for Palestinian statehood, have been analogized and morally linked in ways that might have surprised King himself. These tortured analogies reject everything King represented. After all, he preached peaceful and "passive nonviolent resistance," a strategy that most Palestinian leaders have never embraced. Too many Palestinian leaders are dedicated to eradicating Israel, not living beside it.

Despite widespread slanders of ethnic cleansing, there is no genocide against the Palestinians. Their people, in fact, have doubled in population since 1967. Nor are Israel's practices, as Michelle Alexander assesses in the New York Times, "reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States," surely not when Arabs serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and can live, work and eat anywhere they choose, vote freely in elections and are represented in parliament.

The only nation in the Middle East where civil rights exist for racial minorities, homosexuals and women is Israel. It is to Israel where Ethiopian Jews were airlifted from Sudan, and where an Israeli-born Ethiopian woman was in 2013 crowned Miss Israel. It's also in Israel where a forest is named for Martin Luther King.

Maligning Martin Luther King as an Enemy of Israel
If she wants to invoke Dr. King’s name, maybe she should consider what he would say about the dictatorship created by Mahmoud Abbas, who is now serving the 11th year of his four-year term. What would he say about the Palestinian Authority’s silencing of its critics by jailing, torturing, and sometimes killing them? What would he say about the “honor killings” of women who have violated someone’s ideas of moral behavior? And what about their persecution of homosexuals, or the denial of women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the persecution of Christians by Hamas and Palestinian groups in the West Bank?

I am fed up with the hypocrisy of people who claim to be concerned about the human rights of Palestinians but are silent when it comes to their mistreatment by their fellow Palestinians or, in the case of places such as Lebanon and Syria, by their fellow Arabs. Why doesn’t Alexander have anything to say about the slaughter of Palestinians by Bashar al-Assad? Does she believe King would look the other way as she does? I think not.

Paragraph after paragraph of her article is filled with vitriol. She says that Israel will not discuss Palestinian refugees; that’s a lie. Since 1948, Israelis have offered to allow tens of thousands to return — but no Israeli from any political party would accept the idea that Palestinians have a “right” to return, thus destroying Israel as a Jewish state.

Alexander also trots out the tired canard of comparing Israel to South Africa. This specious argument has been rebutted ad nauseum, but it is as odious and malignant as Holocaust denial.

Finally, Alexander says that “the days when critiques of Zionism and the actions of the State of Israel can be written off as anti-Semitism are coming to an end.” King saw things differently. When a student attacked Zionism during an event in 1968, King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”
British cultural figures call on BBC to urge relocating Eurovision from Israel
Dozens of British cultural figures have signed a letter calling on the UK’s national broadcaster, the BBC, to push for relocating the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest from Israel to another country.

The letter, which was printed in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, cited Israel’s human rights record in the West Bank as the reason.

“Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations – and we cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights,” read the letter, which was sent ahead of the UK choosing its entry for the international song contest.

“The BBC is bound by its charter to ‘champion freedom of expression,'” the letter continued. “It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed.

“The European Broadcasting Union chose Tel Aviv as the venue over occupied Jerusalem – but this does nothing to protect Palestinians from land theft, evictions, shootings, beatings and more by Israel’s security forces,” it said.

Among those who signed the letter were British musicians Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters; actors Julie Christie, Miriam Margolyes and Maxine Peake; directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh; and writers Caryl Churchill and A.L. Kennedy.
The Guardian: Platform of choice for anti-Israel activism
A letter by 50 British cultural figures calling for the BBC to press Eurovision not to hold their 2019 song contest in Israel was dutifully published in the Guardian on Jan. 29th. The letter, replete all the predictable canards by a who’s who of anti-Zionist activists (aka, the ‘I hate Israel’ rubber stamp brigade), is also promoted in a separate Guardian article published the same day by the paper’s Music Editor.

We’ve shown that the Guardian has consistently published such pro-BDS letters by British ‘artists’ over the years – missives which amplify and grant credibility to what are extremely marginal – not to mention almost always unsuccessful – anti-Israel campaigns.

As far as the content of the letter, there’s not much new, save the bizarre suggestion that all of Jerusalem (not just the formerly Jordanian controlled “eastern” section) is “occupied”, and the completely baseless smear that West Bank Palestinians live under “apartheid”.

In its modern guise, the ‘apartheid’ charge took flight in the early 2000s after the UN sponsored anti-Israel hate-fest in Durban, but it is, at root, the product of Soviet and PLO propaganda dating back to the early 1960s – that is, before Israel ‘occupied’ even one square centimeter of West Bank land. The late antisemitism scholar Robert Wistrich wrote (A Lethal Obsession, 2010), that “the constant visual and verbal comparison in the Soviet media between Israel and South Africa was [driven] by Moscow’s campaign to win influence in black Africa” – a propaganda campaign wedded to their broader efforts to cast Zionism as an inherently racist ideology.

Rachel Riley is a British game show host. With her blond hair and Irish surname, no one would have ever suspected she was a Jew. That is until Corbyn’s star rose, and the antisemites began crawling out of the woodwork to troll and attack her. The hate triggered something in Riley and she felt she had to speak out—to speak up for her people, for Israel. Even though her Jewish identity had never been strong. Even though she’s never been political.

She spoke about this on a recent Channel 4 talk show (and wrote about it here):

Host: So what is your own Jewish identity?

Rachel Riley: Well, you know. Probably line 1 or line 2 of my Wikipedia entry. I mean, I'm not spoken about being Jewish. My surname is Riley. You know, you wouldn't know I'm, I don't look like a typical Jew or anything like that but I've always said, I've always been open.

You know my mom's Jewish and my dad's Man[chester] United and that's my identity. I'm an atheist, but I'm proud of my heritage.

You know, when we have the family around my mom would do a lovely bagel spread with all the Ashkenazi. . . the foods. I called my granddad my “Zayde.” We would go to shul once a year for Yom Kippur, for prayers for the dead. Not religious Jews just, just, just cultural.

Yeah, not even cultural particularly but I kind of like, I guess part of my Jewish identity’s is I've known about the Holocaust forever. It's been, always been on my radar and, and knowing that it doesn't matter about your religion, it doesn't matter what you believe, it doesn't matter what you do, having one Jewish grandparent, I felt like people felt entitled to be able to murder you and that has been part of my Jewish identity for a long time, and I thought like many others did that something like the Holocaust meant that antisemitism wouldn't exist anymore because you can see where it leads. You can see how bad it is . . .
Rachel Riley, it seems, had only been Jewish on the margins. She knew about the Holocaust, but that was about all she knew. She didn’t think she had to know anything else, because to her, the Holocaust was self-evident. That seminal event should have been the thing that obliterated antisemitism forever. “You can see how bad it is . . .”

But the thing is, Jeremy Corbyn and so many other British people don’t see how bad it is. They only pretend to see the Holocaust as a bad thing. And then they pretend some more, pretending that their hatred for Israel is not, in fact, antisemitism.  

Rachel Riley couldn’t leave their hatred unremarked. But she also realized that she couldn’t confront the antisemites. She was in no position to do so. Because she’d never cared about these things before. As a result, Rachel Riley was ignorant of her own Jewish history. She was ignorant about the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and the Jewish right to self-determination, to Jewish indigenous territory.

And so Rachel Riley was forced to educate herself.

Actually, no one forced her to do that. She really didn’t have to do that. Rachel Riley could have left things alone, stayed out of the fray.

And the truth is, she didn’t even want to do it, confront the antisemites, or talk about Israel at all:

It’s difficult because I don't want to talk Israel. I mean a lot of this is, it's just blazing antisemitism, but you get drawn into these conversations and again. I'm having to have so much knowledge that I didn't have before to combat it . . .

Something pulled at Rachel Riley during these confrontations and insults. Something triggered her inner Jew. Not in a religious way, but in a national way. This was her people. This simple truth tugged at her soul and made her do the right thing, made her examine and search:

I've searched so much because so many people are telling you that, you know, you're wrong and you're right, you know you're evil or whatever and you're like, am I missing something? So I've had to do so much research and, and, and to find out whether this has come from and really examined myself to see: am I blinkered?

No. You’re not blinkered, Rachel Riley. Israel is the good guy in this movie. And antisemitism is bad. Left unchecked, antisemitism escalates from words and ugly graffiti to violence and death.

Sometimes it’s one Jew speaking on his phone, minding his own business. At other times, it’s 11 in a synagogue in Squirrel Hill, or 6 million in Eastern Europe. But no matter the immediate or long term results, it all springs from the same well of xenophobia, immorality, jealousy, and hate.

Which leads to a conundrum: in a perfect world, there would be no antisemitism. It leads to the shedding of Jewish blood, nothing more. But watching Rachel Riley’s epiphany, one wonders what it means. Did that, too, come out of hate?

Probably not.

It is said that every Jewish soul contains a spark. It can burn so low as to be almost extinguished, or be fanned into bright hot flames of religious and national feeling.

That Jewish spark had been in Rachel Riley’s soul all along, lying dormant, waiting to be fanned alive, or perhaps never to be so. But it was there.

It would be easier to see some cause and effect relationship in this story. It would be nice to think that hate can lead to something positive: a stronger identification with one’s people. It’s certainly possible these haters are God’s unintended instruments to bring His people closer to Him.

We like to find meaning in the worst of things. It helps us make sense of evil.

But the truth is, Rachel Riley’s Jewish spark had always been there right in her soul, had always been waiting for some air to feed the flame. Like Dorothy, Rachel Riley had always had the power to return home to her people. Once she figured it out, she embraced the truth.

And triumphed over hate.

It’s a win for our side.


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  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Rashida TlaibYpsilanti, MI, January 30 - A first-term congresswoman has pledged to return a campaign contribution from a party stalwart following an investigation into the giver's Facebook and Twitter posts revealed a suspicious lack of animus toward Jews, a spokeswoman for the lawmaker announced Wednesday.

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) press officer Adele Fitler told reporters that the legislator will repay every dollar of a $50,000 contribution from businessman Bryce Norton, after reports emerged that Mr. Norton had never participated in online discussions involving antisemitic rhetoric, denial of Jewish peoplehood, Holocaust inversion, anti-Jewish tropes, or accusations that Congress and the federal government answer to Israel and not US voters.

"Ms. Tlaib will not tolerate this aberration," declared Fitler. "Associating with such a misguided figure can only hurt what our representative is trying to accomplish in Washington. Therefore, she will pay back this contribution down to the last penny. Never let it be said that Congresswoman Tlaib's hands are soiled with such dirty money."

Norton, who runs a furniture manufacturing enterprise, has made similar donations to other Democratic candidates; a call to his corporate headquarters went unanswered. Several searches on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social media platforms failed to turn up evidence of an account in his name, though several other people by that name do maintain such accounts. None of the other Bryce Nortons on social media displayed overt antisemitism, either, a fact that one former campaign worker observed could indicate a Jewish conspiracy to harm Ms. Tlaib's reputation.

"I think the right-thinking comments, likes, and shares were there, but were deleted," suggested the staffer, who requested anonymity for protection against the operatives behind the conspiracy. "I mean, every normal person is willing to talk about how evil and deserving of punishment the Jews are, collectively. So what probably happened is this guy did in fact say all the right things, but then the Jews erased them, and are likely blackmailing him to keep the truth from coming out."

"We need to send a consistent message about what kind of rhetoric, what kind of outlook we're going to endorse," explained Fitler. "It is unacceptable that Mr. Norton, however much we could benefit from his gift, would take such a stark, intolerable departure from what the Congresswoman has worked so hard to build. Remaining beholden in any way to someone who might exploit that influence to compromise the clear moral stand we are pursuing is something she is not prepared to tolerate. It's certainly a significant sum of money, but it's not like we're Jews, who only care about money."

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From Ian:

‘Antisemitic’ Amnesty International Campaign Targets Historic Jewish Sites in Israel, Watchdog Says
Human rights group Amnesty International has been criticized for pursuing a “discriminatory, antisemitic” campaign against digital tourism companies that publicize Jewish historical and cultural sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“Precisely because tourism to Israel is at an all time high, Amnesty International is targeting this sector,” Professor Gerald Steinberg — founder and president of the Israeli watchdog NGO Monitor — said in a statement on Tuesday. NGO Monitor noted that Airbnb, TripAdvisor,,, and were among the leading online tourism sites being targeted by Amnesty.

“Amnesty is specifically contesting Jewish historic connections to biblical sites, including in Jerusalem,” Steinberg said. “In essence, Amnesty faults Israel for preserving Jewish historical and cultural heritage, as well as places that are holy to Christians.”

Earlier on Monday, Amnesty published a report titled, “The Tourism Industry and Israeli Settlements,” that accuses Israel of deliberately locating Jewish communities near major archaeological sites in the West Bank.

The report held that Israel had established a “settlement tourism industry” to help “sustain and expand” the Jewish presence in the territory, taken control of by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel’s interest in Jewish archaeology was based on making “the link between the modern State of Israel and its Jewish history explicit,” while “rewriting of history [which] has the effect of minimizing the Palestinian people’s own historic links to the region,” Amnesty claimed.

Steinberg argued that in “the foreground of Amnesty’s campaign is a long history of antisemitism.”

Prof. Phyllis Chesler: The clever cognitive war strategy deployed against Israel
Following in UNESCO’s 2017 footsteps, Amnesty International has just released a Report which accuses Israel of trying to Judaize Jerusalem (!) According to Gerald Steinberg at NGO Monitor:

"On January 29, 2019, Amnesty International published “The Tourism Industry and Israeli Settlements,” a report alleging that “the Israeli government has political and ideological reasons for developing a tourism industry in occupied East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.” According to Amnesty, “Israel has constructed many of its settlements close to archaeological sites … [as] part of an active campaign to normalize and legitimize Israel’s increasing control of the OPT.”

This publication is “part of a broader campaign of BDS to bolster the forthcoming UN BDS blacklist. Amnesty denies Jewish connections to historical sites – including in the Old City of Jerusalem – and in essence faults Israel for preserving Jewish historical and cultural heritage, as well as places that are holy to Christians. (Further), by suggesting that foreign tourism to Israel is about supporting settlements, not about religious and/or historical interest, Amnesty International erases the Christian connection to the Holy Land."

The propaganda against Israel which desires its isolation and de-legitimization exists on every continent. It is deeply rooted and geographically expansive. The following is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of daily, ongoing, campaigns against the Jews in cities all across America.

This past weekend, on January 26th, 2019, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary sponsored its 21st Racial Justice Summit. The third panel of the day was titled “Rewriting the Narrative: Reimagining the Future.” Someone in attendance wrote to me, in a small panic. She is afraid to be quoted by name but sent me a video of the third panel which, quite frankly, frightened and appalled her.

I have now viewed most of it. And I share her concern. Yes, Pittsburgh is where the abominable massacre of eleven Jews at prayer took place last fall. One might expect a heightened sensitivity, especially among justice-seeking Christian theologians. One’s hopes would be misplaced. Sadly, few progressives are willing to understand the connection between Jews and Jewish Israel, or the way in which the issue of Palestine is being used to defame Jews and incite large populations of aggrieved justice-seekers to potentially exterminate the Jews—yet again.

In Pittsburgh, it’s not only what invited panelist Susan Abulhawa, identified as a Palestinian-American novelist, said. It’s also who the moderator was. The same Big Lies, are, alarmingly everywhere, and increasing at warp speed. According to Abulhawa:
"Initially, when Zionism was born in Europe it was a political movement that was conceived by wealthy Jewish businessmen in eastern Europe and the idea was to establish a Jewish homeland. When all these Zionists started immigrating to Palestine and eventually took over the country and kicked the indigenous people out, the narrative was that these Europeans who had been in Europe for thousands of years, who had documented European history for thousands of years, in literature, and art, and culture, in science and politics, that these people were actually indigenous to Palestine and the indigenous people who had been there were, in fact, the squatters…"

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
People are upset that Israel will not renew the mandate for the Temporary Independent Presence in Hebron, which did everything it could to delegitimize Jewish rights to the city.

It is worth remembering some things that have happened over its history.

TIPH observers were attacked not by Jews, but by Palestinian Arabs:

On 26 March 2002 two observers, Catherine Berruex and Turgut Cengiz Toytunç were killed, and another observer wounded after their car was shot on a road near Halhul. The wounded observer said the shooter was dressed in a Palestinian police uniform and that he kept shooting after the observers told him they were from TIPH. The TIPH car was marked with large orange TIPH stickers, a marking well known to the area's residents. An Israeli military court found a Palestinian man guilty of the murders, in September, 2003. Israeli authorities said that three people were involved in the killing.
 In February 2006, TIPH staffers fled and evacuated their offices following an attack by hundreds of Palestinians high school children who threw rocks and broke car windows. The attackers shouted their opposition to the publication of Muhammad cartoons in Denmark and Norway.
These were the people they were protecting!

As far as their impartiality goes....

 In July 2017, a TIPH employee punctured the tires of a car owned by a Jewish family. The incident, which was caught on film, shows a TIPH marked vehicle arriving at the scene and man wearing a TIPH vest crouching near the tire as two other men from the vehicle stand watch.According to the Israeli foreign ministry, TIPH head Einar Johnsen expressed his regrets for the incident and said that "TIPH monitors that were involved in inappropriate activity were immediately sent back to the countries".

In July 2018, the legal counsel of the TIPH was filmed slapping a 10-year-old Jewish boy across the face. After the footage was released, the TIPH member was ordered to leave Israel. The Swiss ambassador to Israel apologized for the actions of the observer.

Apologies notwithstanding, these incidents show that TIPH was made up of people who were anything but impartial.  And the only reason these incidents were discovered was because they were filmed - imagine how many similar incidents happened when the cameras weren't rolling.

TIPH did nothing positive, and it is good that they are being forced to leave.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

This is part of a video animation released by the Palestinian government in November bragging about its medical care, in English.

Furthermore, the occupied city of Jerusalem is a top priority for the Palestinian government, which seeks to strengthen the resilience of the holy city and its citizens. Therefore the government made medical transfers to the hospital inside the occupied city of Jerusalem worth 240 million shekels.
The PA government is saying in this video that it transfers patients to the Jerusalem hospital not for their own good, but for political purposes to "strengthen the resilience of the holy city and its citizens."

How many patients received worse quality care, or were hurt by an ambulance trip that wasn't necessary? How many may have died because of this policy?

And isn't it interesting that the Palestinian leaders are bragging about their apathy towards patient care?

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Today, Amnesty International released another incredibly biased report, about how Israeli tourism to Judea and Samaria is somehow a war crime..

The hate that Amnesty has for Jews who choose to live where their forefathers lived, and for the Jewish history that nearly all occurred there, is palpable.

This Amnesty report sheds no new light. NGOs keep trying to find new ways to demonize the Jews of Judea and Samaria and the flavor of the year is tourism.

Most of the report doesn't even mention tourism but is a rehashed litany of old, ridiculous accusations, such as Israel is violating "the right to adequate housing" -  in an area where anyone can drive around and see opulent mansions belonging to Arabs.

Examples of the hate in this report:
Within East Jerusalem, the government is developing ambitious plans to build tourism infrastructure in Palestinian parts of the city.
Which were Jewish parts of the city 3000 years anyone ever heard of Palestinian Arabs.
In 2017, tourist arrivals grew by 25% to a record 3.6 million visitors, bringing in US$5.8 billion. This growth has brought financial benefits both to Israel and to businesses operating in occupied territory. This is because most foreign visitors also enter the OPT. The top three most visited places by foreign tourists in 2017 were all in Jerusalem’s Old City, which Israel annexed in 1967 along with the rest of East Jerusalem.
The footnote says that these three places are the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Yes, two of them are Jewish and one Christian. Apparently visiting these places is a terrible crime because it supports Israel's "occupation" of the areas - even in Jerusalem.

Did anyone visit the Jewish Quarter or the Western Wall before "occupation"? No - Jordan demolished the old Jewish Quarter and did not let any Jews visit the Western Wall.

But why should Amnesty bring that up? They'd rather blame Israel for allowing Jews to visit their own holy sites! Amnesty is saying that they prefer a world where Palestinians will bar Jews from visiting their holiest sites in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Shiloh, Bet El et. al. to a world where Jews have indigenous rights in their historic lands.

In addition, gift shops and visitor centres at tourist sites in the OPT sell produce grown and manufactured by Israeli settlers, such as wine, olive oil, handicrafts and cosmetics.Tourists visiting these attractions and spending money in the restaurants and other sites directly contribute to the maintenance and growth of settlements, since businesses are owned or managed by settlers.
Oh. My. God. How dare Jews who live in Judea actually make and sell products?

Tourists to Jewish holy places must, according to Amnesty, avoid buying a Coke from a Jewish-owned store and instead try to find an Arab-owned store. Sure, the tourists - especially the Jewish ones - might be stabbed for walking into the store, but at least they won't be drinking cola contaminated with Jew cooties.

Settler groups supported by the Israeli government emphasize the Jewish people’s historic connections to the region
Egads! Settlers are so evil that they actually have the chutzpah to tell visitors that the Bible mentions their history!

Is Amnesty saying the Jewish people do not have a historic connection to the region? It sure seems like they would prefer that this information is buried, because when Jews actually have a connection to their heritage, it makes other Jews and Christians want to visit. And that helps out settlers! The inhumanity!

By the way, do tourists in Palestinian Arab areas hear anything about the Jewish history in the land? Would Amnesty ever complain about it if they don't?

Of course not. Because the subtext of this report is that the Jewish connection to the land is the real problem. It brings tourists. It is suspect. It is one-sided. The Palestinians are the only legitimate residents and the Jews really don't belong. Amnesty is thisclose to saying that Jews are Khazars and imposters.

It is the same message that Hamas and all the other antisemites give.
Israel has constructed many of its settlements close to archaeological sites to make the link between the modern State of Israel and its Jewish history explicit.
Um, no. Jews moved to these areas to be close to where Biblical events occurred.  You can find this secret information out by - gasp - asking them.

Amnesty is saying that such connections are nefarious, when they are natural - if you actually give any credence to Jewish history.
In addition, websites and visitor maps issued by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism do not show the West Bank’s borders. Instead, the area is marked as “Judea and Samaria”, a term for the West Bank used by the government and settlers and not by Palestinians. This suggests a deliberate attempt to conceal from tourists that these places are in the OPT.
How dare Israel use Biblical names instead of the name that Jordanians made up in 1949? Clearly, they aren't interested in preserving Jewish history, but in destroying Palestinian history!

 Amnesty knows that the tourists in Judea and Samaria are primarily Christians and Jews who are attached to the Bible. But it still quotes a Palestinian approvingly, saying:
“Tourists coming here are brainwashed, they are lied to, they do not know this is our land.”
Can Amnesty list a single lie that the tour guides are saying? If not, why does it quote someone calling them a liars?
The Bedouin in the OPT self-identify as Indigenous Peoples.As such, they enjoy certain special rights over the land they occupy and the natural resources they use to sustain their traditional livelihoods and way of life.
Ooooh, they self identify as indigenous?

Guess what, Amnesty? - So do the Jews who live there!

Amnesty knows its audience would be horrified to know that Airbnb, and others list rentals in these areas:
TripAdvisor also had several listings in Kfar Adumim and the surrounding area. These included two properties that can be rented through its website. The first is a one-bedroom apartment, which boasts a jacuzzi. The second is a two-bedroom family home, with views of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. In addition, TripAdvisor provided details and reviews of a hotel, two restaurants and five “things to do”, including the Ein Prat park.
Anywhere else in the world, this news would hardly be expected to be featured in a human rights report. Indeed, it is difficult to know exactly how Jews renting out apartments is a human rights violation. But Amnesty knows it is, and it lists dozens of specific places that are tourist spots or apartment rentals - as if it is revealing major crimes against humanity.

Amnesty hates Israel and Jews so much that it is even upset at people who give positive reviews to visits in Judea and Samaria in TripAdvisor! Here are three quotes in the Amnesty report:
“For those interested in Israel and Judaism, this is a really phenomenal & highly recommended day trip. I thoroughly enjoyed it!” - Hebron tour TripAdvisor review
“A must see with a good, knowledgeable guide. Try to go when the Muezzin is not calling for prayers or you won’t be able to enjoy as much.” - City of David TripAdvisor review
“Every visitor of the land of Israel should definitely come visit this site. It can give you a better perspective of Israel. Fun place!” - Susya Tripadvisor review

This, ladies and gentlemen, is antisemitism. Amnesty hates Jews and Jewish history so much  that they cannot even stomach the idea that visitors enjoy going to historic Jewish sites.  It reveals far more about Amnesty and its supporters than it does about how evil these Jewish "settlers" are for welcoming guests, of all the terrible things they do.

Perhaps the most absurd section of all the inanities in this report is this:
The City of David National Park is already one of the most visited attractions in Israel. In 2017, it received 17.5% of all foreign visitors (some 630,000 people).205 Hundreds of thousands of Israelis also visit the site each year, including many groups of school children, students and soldiers,helping to entrench the settlers’ presence in the area. As with the other sites managed by settlers described above, Elad presents a distorted historical narrative of the area, emphasizing the Jewish people’s roots in the area while excluding those of Palestinian residents.
Let's talk about the "Palestinian residents" of Silwan that the tour guides don't mention. From Wikipedia:

In the mid-1850s, the villagers of Silwan were paid £100 annually by the Jews in an effort to prevent the desecration of graves on the Mount of Olives. Jewish visitors to the Western Wall were also required to pay a tax to the inhabitants of Silwan, which by 1863 was 10,000 Piastres. Nineteenth-century travelers described the village as a robbers' lair.Charles Wilson wrote that "the houses and the streets of Siloam, if such they may be called, are filthy in the extreme.” Charles Warren depicted the population as a lawless set, credited with being "the most unscrupulous ruffians in Palestine.

Does Amnesty want the tour guides to describe the extortionists, robbers, and filthy ruffians who were the historical Palestinian Arab residents of the area? OK, let's tell the City of David to emphasize this history.

This report is all the proof you need - as if you needed more proof - that Amnesty is not interested in human rights of Arabs so much as they want to strip Jews of their own human rights to even visit the lands of their ancestors, let alone live there.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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